View Full Version : SEBRING RACE VIDEO and Incident

08-12-2007, 07:33 PM
A wreck that I was a victim of at Sebring this weekend August 12th, prompted me to respond. This posting is an attempt to point someone out and help put a stop to rough driving tactics.

But after I built this page, I thought, maybe I am expecting too much courtesy from racedrivers. The guys I race with regularly are excellent drivers, incredible to race with and very responsible with your and their equipment. But a newcomer really put me on alert. Watch the carnage on the link below.

If the majority of you folks think I am out of line with this linked page or my comments or even my interpretation of the incident, I will apologize and take the page down immediately. E mail or post your opinions.

To: Crash@prosystemsracing.com

Heres the link to the page: http://www.pro-system.com/crash.html

08-14-2007, 02:49 PM
I actually wanted to come by and speak to you but was sick from the heat and left the track immediately after the race. As I remember you had got loose in the corner before and I had drove up along side you. As you came over I got into the grass trying to avoid you. As far as I know the Steward spoke to the corner workers and they said it was a racing incident. You are correct I was running 12 seconds a lap slower in my camaro than I do in my mustang so when you had the inside line two turns later I let you make a pass. I had the pole for the race so to be honest I thought I was the faster car in lap times until you blew by me on the straight. Bottom line is that I never like to see someones car get damaged and I am sorry this happened as mine was damaged also. I will be glad to talk to you about this further so just give me a call or send me another email.


08-14-2007, 03:31 PM
I hope you are feeling better. We should have the car repaired for the next race.

Incidents aren't cheap though thats for sure. We broke the posi unit, bent the rear track bar (the driveshaft was scraping safety loop making a heck of a howl) ruined a couple tires and some front end parts and body damage BUT no one was hurt. That truly makes the incident cheap by comparison.

Be sure to drink a lot of liquids the night before, it sure keeps the headaches away. :) Thanks for the explanation Tom, it's understood.

Patrick James

08-14-2007, 03:52 PM
Wow , that was lot of damage. You were hauling butt even with all the damage so good job! See you soon


The Brake Man
08-14-2007, 05:14 PM
Tom and Patrick,

Great job of resolving the issues.:clap: I know nobody wants to take out the guy on purpose. Sh.. happens.


08-14-2007, 09:12 PM
we didn't get any real testing in of components as every time we took to the track there was an incident that red flagged it.

We had a Nascar restrictor plate carb that we were developing for fuel mileage that we wanted to test out sweep ratios in the first session. I had a new GT1-American GT carb I was going to run in the second session to check hard braking air to fuel ratios and low speed throttle pick up recovery numbers (OH and congrats to Bupp for winning American GT for us)

Anyway, we never got any hard runs on either test carb in the first 2 practice sessions.

We only got half a warm up lap in our legal session (as I was late to the grid installing our A sedan carb and another minor test part for another project so I had to start from pit lane). That session (which was actually qualifying...yep you guessed it...got stopped. It was a wasted weekend for developing stuff.

So the test parts are still in the trailer for some other day.

Good luck at the Runoffs Tom (well not too much...you're not running my carburetor yet.) LOL. : )

Also Walther thanks for the offer of the fender and other parts (you're good people). I have some spare stuff, so I'm good, but if you need something, stop by the trailer.

Patrick James

08-14-2007, 10:55 PM
I would like to enter that video as exhibit one as to why the Fords have more power then the GM's.:laughing: :laughing:

The Ford is driving an interesting line but man does he kill that poor GM down the straights. I think we have a new definition of the term early Apex.

Patrick please do not be too sensitive but I think that you would be faster if you turned in a little later. I am not a fan of the super late apex and Wheel gives me total hell for my line onto the front straight at Topeka but as they say the data don't lie but that is a special case and relates to dealing with the lenght of line issues. Maybe there was another car or you were trying to block but take this based on what you paid for it.;)


08-15-2007, 09:24 AM
I just totally missed the line. I've raced and regularly won in shifter karts for years and you learn proper line and how not to scrub speed off.

Coming down the following straight away after the accident, I stayed to the right in the braking zone as I was unsure of his car or my car after the accident and did not want to be right behind it under braking in case something failed on either car. So I braked real early and prepared to use the engine to stop the rear tires if needed and I could avoid him if he spun around as a result of a failure on his part.

Obviously I'm not a white knuckled driver as the small amount of speed we get up to doesn't compare to my drag cars that have 1400 h.p. on nitrous and 0-60 in the 2 second zone on the rear tires. I have another road course car I test with that has a 383 roller engine that makes some pretty big power as well. So this A sedan car is like driving a go kart with half the g forces. Lots of fun and not as hard on your neck and arms and back.

But I went into that first corner thinking I could stick better than I did (tires were a bit too cold yet...inexperience on my part) and went wide and had to catch the car. I then didn't want to make any sudden moves (from where I caught the car) so I stayed going arrow straight in a predictable line. I saw in my mirror Tom coming up on me, but I thought for sure he would swing under and go around the outside (as there is 2-3 car widths available for use off to my right) as thats the preferred and proper line (I left it wide open for everyone to use) and he should've been passing me with a cross-under. But with his supplied information and after assessing the high damage to my car from the rate of impact, unfortunately his speed was high enough that he was committed to his trajectory on the inside and off we both went.

I went to the Panoz drivers school at Sebring (see our "Under the Scoop" article on our website) and they really make you aware of the proper line and how to hit it. I can usually pick a track up pretty quick from 10 years of Kart racing. So I'm a pretty decent driver. I've seen professional racer computer traces and those guys are awesome..my Racepak traces are incredibly consistent and predictable but I leave many comfortable margins in my laps. I do it for safety, remember I'm just testing stuff here and having fun with my friends. I'm no aspiring professional race car driver. Not being a professional racer I will make mistakes now and again and that time I read a competitor wrong. I thought he would take the move for the pass and he didn't or couldn't. Thats what evidently happened here.

Thanks for the criticism, it only make us better. : )

Also, as far as power goes, Tom told us his camaro is no powerhouse. He has just a mule engine in there that goes to only 5500 rpm. So its easy to pull that on the straight aways. No talent required on my part...which is good. : )

08-15-2007, 02:08 PM
I would like to enter that video as exhibit one as to why the Fords have more power then the GM's.:laughing: :laughing:

The Ford is driving an interesting line but man does he kill that poor GM down the straights.


I disagree....watch it again, the camaro gets beat mostly in the braking zone, they are fairly even down the straights with a slight nod going to the Mustang. Patrick, nice save! Tom, next best thing to beat the heat (besides the fluids) is a ventilated helmet to pump fresh air into and a cool suit. I made my own set-up to save the mega $$ for the FAST/CoolShirt units but it has made a 100% difference for me.

08-15-2007, 02:50 PM
Thanks for the tip as being an old fart and out of shape I definetly need the cool suit. I actually do have one set up in my Mustang but I was running my camaro that the Dawsons had finished building for me and it is not set up for one. Really would not have taken long to s/u and after the race I wish I had.

08-15-2007, 06:47 PM

Your comment is one of the biggest problems I have discussing HP with people. If both cars are accelerating at the same rate off a corner the distance between them will grow greatly. A 1 second gap between cars at 50 MPH is 73 Feet. At 120 MPH the 1 second gap is 177 feet. If the distance does not grow at a pretty rapid rate then the trailing car is accelerating faster-- like in the video. What happens then is under braking the gap seems to close and it looks like the trailing car is making up the distance under braking. This is not the case. The trailing car kept the gap constant under acceleration which typically means that the trailing car has more HP.

Spend time watching the in car during and F1 race to get a better idea of what is going on. It always looks like the leading car has way more motor but then under braking the gap stays the same as it started.

There is such a difference in HP between those two cars that is why made the little :laughing: symbol. I could tell that there was something wrong with the GM which was confirm by the driver saying that he could only rev the car to 5500 and that is was a MULE motor.


08-15-2007, 08:12 PM
I'm gonna side with Phillip. Cuz at the start Tom with his mule motor was a sitting duck. I had to start dead last as I never got a lap in during our red flagged 1-1/2 lap qfying session (yeesh). For the race I was lined up with a car between us. I hit the gas when the green flag dropped and completed the pass in just 11 seconds.

Coming out of the accident corner I had to start from almost a stop and closed in 1 car length by the next turn. I had to compromise the turn for safety (as I didn't want to be behind him during braking) and according to my data acquisition ran that section (from the corner apex to the beginning of the braking zone) 6 tenths of a second slower than normal and was almost 5 mph slower through the apex of the beginning corner than I usually am. I still picked up another car length during that straightaway. Despite a very poor exit line and speed.

Then when I went by him in turn 10, I easily out accelerated him around the bend (despite once again a compromised exit from that segment due to a constricted corner exit to allow room for both cars to make the corner).

So we have some pretty big power difference between the two engines.

Mines only a reliable regional engine, but Toms was really something very mild just as he proclaimed. Seriously I bet thats a 300 real h.p. engine under the hood of Toms Camaro. So hats off to him for going as fast as he did.

Patrick James

Mitchell Geltz
08-16-2007, 01:05 AM
I was lucky to be the driver of the 88 Mustang "old HMR O.G." we bought this year and having a blast, but the motor was pure junk. Doing damn good in the regionals on our motor. Won both races at Sebring +. Of course not without the PRO SYSTEMS Carb. !!!!!!!!!! Hope to see you soon Patrick.

08-16-2007, 08:38 AM
man you have come so far this year in driving talent. From when you first got your car this year to just last week, following you into and out of corners, your ability to use all the available traction, not make any unpredictable or dicy moves (so we can all race hard together) and not use up the car so you can win has grown in leaps and bounds.

If you keep increasing your abilities at this rate, I think you are the guy to watch in the future as far as driving talent goes from out of the Florida arena.

I truly think you have the talent and persona to be a professional driver.

I heard about your outside pass in the rain at Barber..smooth and controlled from what I hear. Good stuff.

Now you need to get to the Nationals so those guys can push you even harder, thats a tough arena.

Go get 'em. : )

Patrick James

Mitchell Geltz
08-16-2007, 12:24 PM
I can not wait to make it too the Runnoffs, next year is the plan. I do know that we will need a motor with a little more :mad: in it to be competitive. You should have seen the second race on sunday there was no split start I lead the feild of 50 plus cars to the green. Bruce pulled me at the start but I drove inside him through turn 1 then he spun in turn 3 making it hard for the 50 other cars to get through. Black flag and a sit on pit road for 15min. I think it was only a 3-4 lap race under green. I would like to see the rest of the video if theres any good footage of Bruce and I going at it. By the way your no slouch on the wheel either

08-16-2007, 07:37 PM
Unfortunately Mitchell, the video gets pretty grainy at the distance I was behind you guys. Remember I had to play catch up after the incident. So you guys were pretty far away during your dicing. By the time I caught up, Bruce had spun out and then you just kept me at arms length to the finish. It was a good drive on your part. I saw you managing your brakes (they must've been getting hot) . Good stuff.

See you at Sebring in a couple weeks.

Patrick James